learning the trade

Paul Atterbury

What is The San Francisco Center for the Book?

The San Francisco Center for the Book is a not for profit institution dedicated to both teaching and promoting traditional printing and binding skills through practical experience and highly skilled staff.

what did you do there?

My weekdays were spent assisting Chad, the Studio Director with dissing type, spaces and furniture; moving presses and equipment. Preparing materials for press and bookbinding classes as well as helping with office admin – traditional Intern fare! At the weekends, I took classes and learned new skills.

What did you learn?

Core letterpress printing and composition, page edge decorating and box-making. I also learned to use my letterpress composition skills when typesetting on the computer and to be more conscious of the use of space. It also improved my design and layout skills. Huge thanks go to all the staff and teachers, I learnt so much in such a short space of time, special mention to Chad Johnson, Cheryl Ball, Nina Zeininger, Dominic Riley, Michael Burke, Cali Andersen, Jeff Thomas, Mary Laird and Joe O’Connor who took us there in the first place.

What’s next for you?

Take our own letterpress eqipment out of storage, find some space to set it up and put my new skills to the test. And work out how to go back to San Francisco!

Love Letterpress? Read our blog highlighting some UK workshops where you can learn book art skills. There are lots more springing up all over the country. You can also read Francis blog post on Does Letterpress Matter?



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